Calico Jack's Pirate Raiders - the real history

So it turns out the names Art Asylum's used for their Calico Jack's Pirate Raiders line aren't just made up - in many cases, they come from real historical people. Very few of whom were zombies. Let's look at the facts.

Charles Vane (no "S") attacked French and English ships from 1716-1719. His ship was called the Ranger. He was a particularly cruel man, torturing prisoners, cheating his own crew and killing sailors after promising them mercy if they surrendered. When Britain announced a general pardon to pirates who agreed to give up piracy, Vane not only refused, he attacked anyone who accepted. In October 1718, he refused to attack a larger French vessel, and his men voted him out of his captaincy. He and 16 other men were set adrift. He eventually claimed another boat, but was shipwrecked in February 1719. When he was finally rescued, he was recognized by a former pirate and taken to Jamaica to stand trial. He was convicted on March 22, 1720, and hanged on March 29, 1721. (Which isn't as long a period as it seems.)

Jack Rackham was probably born in the 1680s. The first record of him is as the quartermaster of the Ranger. When the French man-o-war attacked and Vane ordered a retreat, it was Rackham who wanted to stay and fight. More than 70 members of the crew agreed with him, but the captain ordered a retreat anyway. On November 24, 1718, Jack called a vote and deposed Vane as the captain. When the pardon was offered, Jack took advantage of it. However, it was voided when he escaped Nassau with Anne Bonny. He continued to prey on ships around Jamaica, but was captured in October 1720. He was tried in the middle of November that year, and hanged days later. His body was tarred and put on display as a warning to other pirates - which you may recognize from the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Robert Deal was one of the men who sided with Vane in the vote, and was set loose. He'd been the first mate, and kept the position when Vane got a new ship. After their new crew captured a few more boats, Deal was given a sloop of his own to captain. He was captured and executed sometime before Vane was.

Jonathan Barnet was the pirate hunter who captured Calico Jack and his crew in Dry Harbor Bay. He'd been specifically called by Governor Woodes Rogers to hunt Rackham, who had been attacking fishing vessels. His ship was called Albion, and when he found Rackham, his ship was anchored and the entire crew was drunk - all the men ran and hid, leaving only Anne Bonney and Mary Read to defend the ship.

John Fenwick was listed as a member of Calico Jack's crew on the printed list of charges, but a later trial (of different men) revealed that he wasn't a member, just partying with them when Barnet got there. He was also named in a trial in 1721, for a mutiny that occured in Africa in June 1720.

Tom Brown, alias Thomas Bourn, has a similar story: he was listed as part of Rackham's crew, but actually wasn't.

Nicholas van Hoorn was a Dutch pirate who lived entirely in the 17th century - he was born in the '30s, and was buried in 1683. In 1666 the French hired him to attack Spanish ships, and he once convinced the governor or Puerto Rico to allow him to "escort" a convoy of Spanish galleons as their protection, but he steered them straight into his own waiting floatilla. In 1682 he was captaining the Saint Nicholas's Day, and helped capture Vera Cruz in 1683. While dividing the spoils he engaged in a duel with Laurens de Graaf and was shot in the arm, and it was that wound that killed him.

Nukpana... appears to have been made up. It's okay, somebody had to be.

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